Posted in Politics

An Appeal: Can the left really win?

An Appeal: Can the left really win? Posted on 30 June 20114 Comments

A picture of a whistling thorn tree

This is an open letter to the Left in general. If you can answer these questions, please do, because more than anything, I don’t want to give up.

Today many people joined us in the strikes. It was brilliant having all these people not working – but what did it really affect? Woo-hoo – we got some press coverage, but won’t the government still pass through higher pensions? Won’t Labour be the ones who let it happen?

For those of you who know me, you know that I don’t give up easily. But I’m beginning to question everything. I’m beginning to be sick and tired of the way I am treated by my family (for bothering to stand up for the things they *say* they believe in, and standing up for the things they don’t) and by the way I have been treated by the left. Everything feels like a battle – we’re not only fighting against the right, but we also way too busy fighting each other.

The nature of London’s youth clique astounds me. To be involved in activism now, just to know what’s going on, you need to “know” people – but that’s not enough – you need to be someone they like. There is no open culture and open welcome. You’re a stranger until you fight your way in… If you’re different, don’t expect a chance of getting involved (unless you’re happy with just tagging along).

And what are we winning exactly? Who are we fighting for? A Labour Party which just cusses its own supporters by calling them an “inconvenience” or “a mistake” when they demand accountability? Or the Unions who accept the cusses and pay them even more money? Or perhaps the shambles that is the Green Party, which is vainly attempting to push off the loonies that hang around the fringes? Or perhaps the other hundred other versions of Marxist parties that talk power but don’t act?

So yes, I’m disillusioned. But more so I’m tired. I’m tired of fighting off my family that condemn me for being political. And even more so, I’m tired of fighting to even get involved in left-wing politics.

True left-wing politics is open, accepting and community-based. Where has all of that gone?

4 thoughts on “An Appeal: Can the left really win?

  1. Yes, we can win, but I admit it does seem like an impossible mountain to climb.

    The simple response would be to say. If you fight you can win, or you can lose. If you don’t fight, you always lose.

    5 years ago I was in Cairo. The thought of ordinary people taking on Mubarak and winning seemed fanciful to put it mildly, but that happened. Likewise, before the fall of the Berlin Wall, the idea of defeating the monolithic governments in Eastern Europe and Russia was that of a nutcase. But it happened.

    The defeat of Margaret Thatcher came a long time after the lethal wound was inflicted (that of the Poll Tax defeat), but it came.

    When the power of ordinary people making history comes in the UK, shaking off decades of defeat, it will be spectacular – maybe a revolution, maybe not. But don’t you want to be there when it happens?

    As Arundhati Roy said “Another World is indeed possible, and on a quiet day, you can hear her breathing.”

    So rest, rebuild your strength and be there at the next demonstration or action. the movement needs you, but more pertinently: you need the movement.

    hasta la victoria siempre.

  2. Take a look at this:

    Of course PCS will congratulate themselves, but its true – trade unionists clobbered ministers and anti strike spokespeople in the media yesterday and the government’s strategy is exposed, there’s a lot more support for this strike than there has been in a while. and in october Unison should be going out, if they can get Unite etc going as well then that’s a really big strike!

    Your words and passion inspire many more of us, I just think think back to YG Convention when your speech easily put you ahead of the equally amazing Matt Butcher because of that passion that is so evident in you. That keeps us going, but this will take time when you remember how entrenched the right is.

    I can’t say much about London or family apart from hugs and solidarity. Stuff will get quiet over the summer, take it easy and let’s get ready for the Autumn when we’ll continue to build!

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